Well, I've always said my trips to and from Denmark take a long time and are tiring, but this last winter my trip set new slowness records. I left for the airport on a Monday morning and finally arrived in California Thursday evening. Thats called a long time folks. OK, anyway, heres the story.
I left very early Monday morning to get to
the airport for my very early morning flight. So early in fact, that
when I was checked in, in the terminal, the place was still for the most
part closed. I noticed however that my flight seemed not to be where
it should on the departure monitors, so when the information booths finally
opened, I went to find out what was wrong.
So the next day I arrive early again And my flight has been cancelled again. The reason? Crew break. So apparently they do plan these crew breaks. They just plan them such that you cant ever fly to Zurich in the morning. Anyway, this time they offered me an alternate route that only takes an extra four hours, CPH to Brussels to Washington DC to LAX. CPH to Brussels would be with KLM or whatever the Belgian airline is, and Brussels to DC to LAX would be with United Air. Well I wasnt too happy with having to wait again, but I wanted to get back to the states, so I accepted.
Well, when I got to Brussels I would have to wait a few hours before the United booth would be ready for me to check in with them. I was hoping to get a seat with some leg room or such. When I finally did get to talk to someone at the booth they looked at my modified ticket and said, They [Copenhagen] cant just write a new route on your ticket. This doesnt mean anything. GGRROOOAAANN. So the people in Copenhagen had just sent me off to some European city without a ticket to get from there. The United agent said, Well be glad to take you on our flight, but we are going to need to get paid by someone first. Oh boy. Anyway, the United agent got in touch with a Swiss Air agent and had them buy me a ticket. Supposedly it cost the Swiss people a good deal of money for a short term ticket like that, so they probably lost more money than they got from my fare.
In waiting for all that to be worked out I did meet two others. Carsten was a Dane in the exact same boat as myself except that he was headed all the way to New Zealand. Jo was a girl on her way to DC from a Peace Corps stay in Africa (I think it was the Peace Corps). So anyway, I started taking to Jo and Carsten and the flight went by a little quicker.
When we approached DC a new problem became
evident. There was a large storm brewing outside. What we could
see of New England through the clouds was decked in white. We approached
DC to land anyway, and as the landing neared, it was pretty easy to see
the pilots would be very busy. The plane was sliding left and right
and the wings were bouncing to the point that I started to worry (It takes
a LOT to make we worry). But I figured that the airplane cost the
airline a lot of money, so they wouldnt take any great risks to get it
landed. Anyway, we approached to land. Thirty feet
VRROOOOOMMM back up in the air.
Right after we landed the storm got worse. Definitely no flight would be leaving that evening or night. Jo was happy. She had made it to DC and had a hotel room ready. Carsten and I were not so lucky. We tried to get a flight that evening No way. We asked if the airline would supply us with a room Not if your delay is caused by an act of God. Hmm. I called around for a hotel room We only have the expensive suites remaining, starting at $150
So lets summarize. Carsten and I were snowed in at Washington DC with nowhere to sleep, no way to leave town, and nothing to eat. Well the last problem we fixed by having dinner at the airports TGIF. A good beer helped make it all seem less annoying and more comical. This was the trip from Hell of course and we tried to guess how the rest of it would also backfire. Well, the day progressed and we found a good spot of carpet in the airport to sleep on. They had lockers for us to put our stuff into, and there were maybe fifty or so others sleeping around us, so it wasnt too bad. I actually slept for eight hours (I can sleep through ANYTHING). Carsten slept well too, although he couldnt abstract from the recording, This is a non smoking airport. If you wish to smoke please do it in a designated smoking area, which was played every fifteen minutes. (I did try to contact Jo to see if we could crash/buy a portion of her hotel room, but I couldnt find out where she was staying. Oh well, it would have been a strange call anyway Hi, Jo? This is Peter, that guy you just met from the airplane I was wondering if Carsten and I could sleep in your room tonight Anyway )
The next morning Carsten and I waited for the airline desks to open. I called home and found out from my father that my cousin, Keith, was in Washington DC. He was there staying at a friends place. My father suggested I use the opportunity to see Washington DC and leave the next day instead or even later. Well I didnt want to stay more than one extra day, this trip was taking long enough already. I managed to get in touch with Keith, who was thrilled at the idea of having me see the city with him, and we arranged to meet that morning.
Well the day went by well. A girl named Brooke was Keiths host, and she showed us most of the sights that day, including walking through the Smithsonian Aerospace Museum. Unfortunately we didnt have time for anything else, but we did finish off the evening with a good dinner in Georgetown with Brooke. (She was a great host).
The next day I gathered up and left for sunny California. The flight went smooth I was home in no time.
Anyway, here are a few photographs from that trip.